Buying a home can be the biggest transaction many of us may ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most recognizable person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital required to finance the exchange. The title company ensures that all requirements of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.
So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is in line with the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could expect to pay for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser ensure, you, as an interested party, are informed.
Appraisals begin with the property inspection
Our first duty at Steve Souza Appraisals is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.
Next, after the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.
Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties sales prices so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.
An opinion of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in Yuba, Sutter, Butte or western Nevada Counties, Steve Souza Appraisals is second to none. The sales comparison approach to value is most often awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use an additional way of valuing a house. In this case, the amount of income the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.
The Bottom Line
Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. Depending on the specific circumstances of the buyer or seller, their level of urgency or a buyer's desire for that exact property, the closing price of a home can always be driven up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in the event they had to put the property on the market again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Steve Souza Appraisals will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make beneficial real estate decisions.